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LESSONS:

THE BEST OF
SUMMER GUIDE

SARAH BROWN takes stock of summer and encourages us to live the best one yet.
 

Written BySARAH BROWN

Photographed ByPURIENNE

FROM THE DESK OF SARAH BROWN:

This past spring, just as Cassandra Grey was asking me if I might like to join VIOLET GREY in a super cool new role she was cooking up at the VIOLET LAB, I was finishing a project with another dynamite woman and killer entrepreneur I have long respected and admired: the legendary fashion designer Norma Kamali. 

I had spent the previous year, and most of the pandemic, working with Norma on her book, I Am Invincible (how’s that for a title?). One of the things that struck me as we were working together, and has stayed with me ever since, was Norma’s simple proposition to her readers:  What if you looked forward to every moment, every year, and even every decade of your life? What if you lived your life, no matter your age, with the expectation that the best was yet to come? 

It’s a pretty amazing way to live. Talk about manifesting!

So: Let’s embrace this summer—we’ve still got six gorgeous sunny weekends left until Labor Day, which is plenty of time!—as the best summer of our lives. Perhaps even…the best summer ever.

I don’t know about you, but I am hell-bent on soaking up as much sunshine as I can (which is no problem when one is liberally covered in a silky SPF 40 serum), hugging those I love for the first time in ages (a gorgeous summery scent wafting subtly off my neck, of course), and eating dinner under the stars—be it on a noisy street corner in New York, a candle-lit patio at a friend’s beach house, a sailboat idling in the sapphire waters off the Greek islands, or a bougainvillea-draped terrace somewhere in Positano (a girl can dream, right?). After a year of challenges, I’m focused on celebrating triumphs small and large, toasting to good health, good fortune, good friends, and good vibes. 

This is what has been on our minds at VIOLET GREY as we’ve curated the very best from THE SHELVES for you. Why shouldn’t this be the summer of your best hair, best skin, best body, and best time? We’ve put together a selection of favorites below that we feel are truly life-(and skin- and hair-) enhancing additions to your world-class, VIOLET CODE APPROVED beauty wardrobe. And while the right products certainly play their part, the most important ingredient is already right there in the mirror. 

Wishing you a happy, healthy summer of sunshine, adventure, gratitude, and great skin!  

Xxx.

Sarah

SARAH’S SUMMER PICKS

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“I think of Gypsy Water as the olfactory interpretation of dreamy haute boho splendor and basically everything I want out of summer days, nights, and long weekends: Grass under foot; Sand between toes; Dewy skin; Floppy hat; A little lip balm; And a cute date.”

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“Anything that includes the word ‘weightless’ is my summertime version of you-had-me-at hello. This refreshing, hyaluronic acid-packed lotion from Hollywood’s favorite facialist is going everywhere with me this season.”

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“Talk dirty, but keep it clean! Delicate skin deserves its own wash. Dr. Sturm’s nourishing formula helps balance protective pH.”

4

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“A weightless serum that adds pretty polish while it strengthens and repairs. Loaded with biotin, coconut oil, and banana botanical extract.”

5

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“Summer is the time for casual, low-maintenance glamour—even if you are high-maintenance at heart. Well, we’re all in luck, because there is nothing simpler, or sexier, than bare skin, freckles, and a swipe of really good pitch-black mascara.”

6

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“Take your show on the road. Crave’s sleek Vesper can be stealthily worn as a necklace (surprise!) and guarantees a good time.”

7

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“The best part about Yves Durif’s adorably pocket-size-yet-deluxe brush and comb set? Needing this made-for-travel version of an all-time VG cult favorite implies going somewhere. And that, dear customers, is the best part of summer.”

8

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“I love Chanel’s Glow Sticks because, well, if Chanel made a ballpoint pen I would worship it, but, in this particular case, the blendable range of flattering shades add subtle, lit-from-within highlights everywhere from the bridge of your nose to the tips of your shoulders. Who needs a tan?”

9

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“Just when you thought lip gloss could not be improved, Gucci Westman comes along and turns the entire institution on its head with her deluxe balm/gloss hybrid: a juicy, but not sticky, best-in-class clean formula in colors so good you will find you need them all.”

10

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“If you could combine your sunscreen with radiance-boosting, skin brightening, antioxidant-packed Vitamin C, and in a silky, oil-free, serum-like formula, wouldn’t that be a great idea? We thought so, too.”

11

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“There is a veritable symphony of skin-refreshing and refining ingredients packed into Nécessaire’s new shower superstar—from the headlining bamboo, charcoal and eucalyptus to pumice, lactic and glycolic acids—guaranteeing soft, smooth, polished skin begging to be shown off.”

12

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The shimmering, fragrant hydrating oils dancing around in this bottle like a Cap d’Antibes snow globe immediately transport me. Golden light. Intense glamour. Smooth legs!